This week on What's The Deal, it's the most you can learn about the western wildfires in 5-10 minutes without being dropped into one. Covering issues like: is it bad that a bunch of our country is on fire? And is Smokey the Bear ok?

WHAT'S THE DEAL: WESTERN WILDFIRES Western Wildfires CRACKED .COM Right now, the western part of the US is undergoing some of the worst wildfires in US history. Since the rest of the world is also blowing up, it can fall by the wayside, but don't let that make you think it's not devastating.

WHAT'S THE DEAL: WESTERN WILDFIRES How bad are they? CRACKED.COM Beyond just destroying land, homes, and businesses, wildfires can spread blankets of harmful smoke up to thousands of miles from their origin. Now you understand why Smokey the Bear was being such a narc about it.

WHAT'S THE DEAL: WESTERN WILDFIRES How do they start? CRACKEDG .COM 4 out of 5 wildfires are started by humans, but may also be started naturally, e.g. by lightning. But the origins aren't the worst part: after all, people have been dumb forever. What's bad is how far they spread and how hard they are to stop now.

WHAT'S THE DEAL: WESTERN WILDFIRES Where's on fire? CNN WILDFIRES BURNING ACROSS THE US Weather CRACKED.COM As of July 15, there were 71 separate wildfires, which have burned 993,678 acres of land. For perspective on how much land that is, imagine setting fire to all of Rhode Island. And then also setting fire to Chicago, just for fun. (Shout out Mrs. O'Leary's cow!)

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WHAT'S THE DEAL: WESTERN WILDFIRES Oh $#!%. source: NBC News/National Interagency Fire Center Active burning wildfires Percen Name Acres burned Cause contain Bootleg 236.304 Undetermined 7 Sugar 104,567 Undetermined 30 Snake River 102.866 Undetermined 12 Complex GRACKED.COM Yeah. One SINGLE wildfire in Oregon, the Bootleg wildfire, is responsible for roughly a quarter of those 933,000 acres of burn. But don't worry! It's *checks notes*... 7% contained. In second and third are the Sugar and Snake River Wildfires in WA and CA.

WHAT'S THE DEAL: WESTERN WILDFIRES I'm guessing this isn't normal. CRACKED.com It's pretty normal... if you look at the past couple years. Historically though... yeah, it's bad. 5-year CalFire firefighter Dennis Smith said to CNN, We used to get some what you'd call 'career fires' maybe once every few years. We're seeing career fires--100,000 plus acres- a common occurrence every year now.

WHAT'S THE DEAL: WESTERN WILDFIRES Why is it so bad? CRACKEDG COM Scientists and fire experts point to a deadly combination of severe drought, drier than normal winter and spring seasons, topped off with extreme heatwaves across the West. Basically, the West is sitting around with the conditions of a well-managed ski-lodge fireplace.

WHAT'S THE DEAL: WESTERN WILDFIRES So... Global Warming. CRACKEDO COM Whoda thunk? Global warming big fires may seem such a dead simple cause-effect relationship that even Tucker Carlson would have trouble mustering up his trademark bad-faith incredulosity at it, but that doesn't mean it's not true.

WHAT'S THE DEAL: WESTERN WILDFIRES How do we put them out? IIIIIII +H308xy 36- CRACKEDo COM That's a job handled by some extremely badass firefighters who make the Suicide Squad seem like scaredy-cats. Unfortunately wildfires are difficult to deal with reactively. Fighting them requires proactive action like education on fire safety and controlled burns. Oh, and that climate change thing.

WHAT'S THE DEAL: WESTERN WILDFIRES I'm depressed now. CRACKEDG Welcome to 2021, baby! As the great Steve Harwell once said, My world's on fire, how about yours? That's the way I like it and I'll never get bored. So for god's sake, put out your #^$&ing bonfires.
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